August 29, 2020 - No. 32

On the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of CPC(M-L)

Tributes Paid at the Party Memorial in Beechwood Cemetery

• 50th Anniversary of the Party Press

Permanent Resident Status for All!

National Day of Action in Defence of the Rights of All

• Activists Call Out Legault Government on Restrictive
"Special Program" for Asylum Seekers

• Migrant Workers Speak Out

Federal Government's Permanent Residence Program for
a "Category" of Asylum Seekers

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino's Remarks

About the Federal Government's
"Historic and Significant" Announcement

Quebec Announces Special Program for Asylum Seekers
During the COVID-19 Period

COVID-19 Update

Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

75th Anniversary of Vietnam's August Revolution
and National Day

Beautiful Celebration Held in Toronto
• Online Celebration to Be Held September 2

Worldwide Support for the Palestinian People
and Their Right to Be

• Thousands Around the World Join the
Days of Resistance for Palestine

- Samidoun -

Photo Review August 8-28

• U.S. People's Movement Against Racism, Injustice,
Impunity and Inequality Does Not Relent

On the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of CPC(M-L)

Tributes Paid at the Party Memorial
in Beechwood Cemetery

August 15, 2020

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), on August 15, 2020, a delegation of the Central Committee of CPC(M-L) led by its First Secretary and National Leader, visited the Party Memorial at Beechwood Cemetery in Vanier. The Memorial represents the modern democratic personality the Party has given rise to. Its beauty conveys the profound respect of all Party members and fellow-travellers as well as family members of those whose sacrifice advanced the cause of modern communism.

Floral tributes were presented by Party organizations, individuals and family members who came to pay their respects and express their social love for Comrade Hardial Bains and all those Party members who have passed away and whose names are inscribed on the monument.

The Party's leadership also accompanied a delegation from the Quebec Committee of CPC(M-L) and a delegation of the Outaouais Regional Committee as they paid respects. In the afternoon a delegation from Ontario paid the respects of the Ontario Committee, followed by a representative from BC and two from Nova Scotia, as well as family members.

The Party was also honoured to receive a delegation from the Embassy of Cuba in Ottawa led by Her Excellency Ambassador Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, a delegation from the Embassy of Vietnam in Ottawa led by His Excellency Ambassador Pham Cao Phong, and the Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of Venezuela in Ottawa, Luis Acuña. Each presented a floral tribute in honour of Comrade Bains and other comrades, listened to explanations of the lives and contributions of the comrades whose names are on the monument.

August 21, 2020

A floral tribute was also placed at the Memorial on August 21 in honour of two Party members from Montreal who were taken from us by COVID-19 this spring, founding Party member Peter Macrisopoulos and long-time activist Miguel Céspedes Pino.

Comrade Peter joined Hardial Bains and Marxist-Leninist youth in Montreal in 1968-69, even before the founding of the Party, to fight against state-organized racist attacks against the Quebec people and attempts to suppress the struggle the workers were waging in the late sixties. He was a founding member of the Intellectuels et Ouvriers Patriotes du Quebec (IOPQ) in November 1969 and of CPC(M-L) in March 1970.

The Central Committee recognized Peter's contribution by presenting him posthumously with the Party's 50th Anniversary Award for championing the cause of the Greek working class and people all his life and the cause of the Quebec and Canadian working class since he came to Canada after World War II. The award recognizes Peter's fidelity to the cause of the Party and communism as well as his valiant stands when the Party and he himself were persecuted by the state in the early seventies. It was his life's work to unite all workers, no matter what their national origin as one class with one program, in defence of minority rights and the rights of all and for the recognition of the Quebec nation and its right to self-determination.

The Party deeply mourns his death in the COVID-19 pandemic and condemns the callous and cynical attitude of the Quebec and federal governments towards those who have sacrificed their lives to look after the well-being of the society and its members. It is their social irresponsibility that directly led to Comrade Peter's death in a seniors' home, not COVID-19. It is unforgivable. The memory of Peter and his deeds live on in all of us.

Comrade Miguel Céspedes Pino was a proud Quebec communist of Chilean origin. After leaving Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship, he held high the flag of communism and anti-imperialist solidarity and participated in the fight of his two homelands for the rights of all to his dying day. Miguel also succumbed to COVID-19 and his loss is deeply mourned by his family, his friends, his comrades and all those whose lives he so gently and profoundly touched.[1]

A fitting memorial to both comrades will be held at the Party headquarters in Montreal once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted completely.

August 24, 2020

On August 24 with great sadness flowers were also laid at the Party memorial in honour of Comrade Hardial Bains who passed away that day 23 years ago. Despite his immense loss, members of the Outaouais Branch of the Party pointed out that the life of the Party remains vibrant and imbued with the strength of his legacy, and continues to inspire all those who are working to open society's path to progress and usher in peace, freedom and democracy. The Party shows us that the conditions of retreat of revolution are difficult, but not impossible, they said. With this spirit they expressed greetings and social love on the part of the Quebec Committee of CPC(M-L) to the Party's First Secretary, National Leader and Central Committee.

Every year delegations visit the Party Memorial which holds high the contribution of all those whose names are inscribed on it. What is more, it pays tribute to the modern personality of those who put real life as the basis of our development and take up Contemporary Marxist-Leninist Thought as a guide. This personality instinctively gravitates towards communism and respects the communist and revolutionary leaders the world over -- those whose hallmark is their participation in changing society in favour of the peoples. This personality uses Marxism as a guide to action, never as a replacement for profound activity in real life.

Comrade Bains pointed out that such a personality is not accidental; it is not a personality which humankind gives rise to only once in a while. Far from it, our Party and The Internationalists before it, has always strived hard to create this personality. Since the sixties, giving rise to this personality was put on the agenda and a line of march has been followed in order to nurture such a personality. This has not been left to chance. It is the result of organized, planned activity which opens society's path to progress so as to emancipate the working class and all of humankind.

The Party's Deed Is Its Word!
Long Live the Party of Hardial Bains!


1. See In Memoriam here.

Haut de page

50th Anniversary of the Party Press

August 26 marked the 50th anniversary of the press of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). This press is a powerful weapon in the hands of the working class to organize itself in defence of its own interests. This year on September 1, we also mark the 35th anniversary of the mass Party press and mass non-Party press, two kinds of journalism indispensable for the building of the working class movement for its own emancipation.

Based on a profound appreciation of the Party's experience, the Central Committee held an important meeting in mid-August with leading cadre of the Workers' Centre of CPC(M-L) to discuss the significance of analyzing unfolding events and to set guidelines to further strengthen the Party press. Present at the meeting were also leading cadre of the Quebec Committee of CPC(M-L) and of the communist youth. The meeting also saluted the Party on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. The main presentation was on the topic: The Significance of Analyzing Unfolding Developments which was further elaborated by those present in the form of drawing warranted conclusions to guide the work in the coming period.

The work to strengthen the mass Party press at this time is a key component of the work CPC(M-L) has undertaken during this period of retreat of revolution. The COVID-19 pandemic is taking place within the context of a vicious neo-liberal anti-social offensive and it is being used by the ruling class to escalate this offensive against the working class and people. The working class has engaged the bourgeoisie in a trial of strength and it has the Party and the Party press at its disposal.

The bourgeoisie controls all forms of media at this time, both print and audio-visual. Besides being highly monopolized, this media is extremely retrogressive and an obstacle to opening society's path to progress. The Party press shows that the working class can have its own voice under these conditions. The bourgeoisie not only does not want the working class to have its own voice but it does not even want its vanguard, CPC(M-L), to exist as the organized expression of the working class aim to constitute the nation and vest sovereignty in the people. In this respect, CPC(M-L) has overcome many obstacles the bourgeoisie has put in its path in the past, and continues to do so today. It does not permit the voice of the working class to be silenced and it makes sure this plays a decisive role to open society's path to progress.

Celebration of commissioning of the new printing press, July 5, 1990.

Speaking in 1990 when the Party commissioned a new printing press, CPC(M-L) leader Hardial Bains pointed out that the mass Party and non-Party press have the key advantage over the bourgeois press because both are forward-looking, working to open the path for the progress of society. "For this reason, this press has a future just as the working class has a future and so does its vanguard," Hardial pointed out.

"As CPC(M-L) carries out its work to establish groups of writers and disseminators, the mass Party press is consolidated and it becomes invincible. CPC(M-L) is directing all its efforts to ensure that the groups of writers and disseminators are established and strengthened," Hardial emphasized.

In this vein, the meeting called by the Central Committee with leading cadre of the Workers' Centre and held in mid-August discussed the work required to increase the participation of the workers in reading, writing and distributing Workers' Forum in a manner which ends the marginalization of the working class and vulnerable sections of the people at this crucial time when the bourgeoisie seeks to control everything to its own advantage. With regard to the mass Party press, the meeting decided that at this time, the immediate task is to establish all the links necessary in the class and acquire the competence required to develop the consciousness and organization of the advanced sections of the class, along with the wherewithal to extend this consciousness and organization to the broad sections of the class. In keeping with the theoretical and ideological considerations which gave rise to the formation of Groups of Writers and Disseminators, this work to strengthen the Party press must be based on the strength of the class itself. There is no short-cut or by-pass to get around the fact that the working class must be the instrument of its own emancipation and the need for the Party, as the most advanced section of the class, to provide the class with the required consciousness and organization. The Party relies on the Groups of Writers and Disseminators to strengthen the mass Party press and it has taken practical measures to strengthen this work.

Celebration, August 31, 1986, of one year of building the mass Party press and non-Party press.

It is incumbent on the communists, class conscious workers and all progressive and democratic forces to step up this work in order to make sure they succeed in turning things around at this time in favour of the working people, not the rich.

Display of mastheads of  the publications of  Groups of Writers and Disseminators.

Since the Party paid first-rate attention to developing the mass Party press and non-Party press in 1985, it has carried out broad and ongoing work to give rise to a new journalism that can serve the needs of the working class and broad masses of the people for enlightenment and social progress. At that time, it was analyzed that the working class must take measures to win the middle strata over to its side and break the stranglehold of the bourgeoisie over this section of society. The Party gave rise to a form of journalism which serves the need for enlightenment and social consciousness.

Since the 8th Party Congress, the Party leadership has paid specific attention to making sure that concrete arrangements are put in place which strengthen the Party publications. In particular, it has taken measures whereby Party activists constitute themselves as Groups of Writers and Disseminators and take up fields of writing and related activities such as reporting on the working class movement; investigating and reporting on the conditions of the working class, both in general and in different sectors of the economy. Through the Party press, the Party and its Workers' Centre have issued statements, analyses, commentaries and views, presenting the positions of the Party on all the issues of importance to both the working class and society in general, in both national and international areas of concern.

At this time, the bourgeoisie is attacking society with a vengeance, targeting in particular the forward-looking view that society should provide for the well-being of all its members. The bourgeoisie is not merely defending the status quo and refusing to move forward. It is not merely refusing to extend the provision of health care and education and other needs such as daycare and old-age security. It has destroyed the very conception of justice, fairness and the social responsibility of governments to do their duty towards members of the polity. By passing legislation based on the medieval view that every individual should fend for herself or himself, even the limited conception of social responsibility that had become the norm in Canada is trampled underfoot.

These developments which are taking place reflect the deep crisis of capitalism, a crisis in which the capitalists and the state as the private treasurer of the capitalist class as a whole cannot generate the levels of revenue that are required to service the insatiable demands of the oligopolies for investments and for the specific types of infrastructure they require at this time. This is why the ruling circles do not adequately fund those areas of spending which are related to the health, education and social welfare of the people. In the same way, no matter how much richer the rich become as a result of governments' pay-the-rich schemes, the workers are submitted to intensified exploitation in the name of "prosperity." Meanwhile, the policies of cartel parties of the establishment are inseparable from the aim of preserving the capitalist system. Whether "Conservative," "Liberal," or "Social-Democrat," they have been compelled by these objective developments to become the open spokespersons and agents for social retrogression.

Under these conditions, where the ruling circles are pushing society backwards, the achievements of the Party in the field of journalism for enlightenment are a great accomplishment, as is having created the conditions for the same flourishing of the journalism of the working class to take place. Both need to be developed to the maximum to have the advanced positions of the working class in the dominant position in society. Both the mass Party press and non-Party press have critical roles to play.

Display from the 44th anniversary of the Party and mass party press, August 23, 2014.

The mass Party press, as the voice of the working class, is an important instrument in the movement of the working class to create the conditions for its own emancipation and open the path for society's progress. The Party also created the mass non-Party press whose partisanship is to the movement for enlightenment and for the progress of society. In this regard, its content and editorial policy reflect the concerns of the people and, in a manner of speaking, it sets the agenda for society by determining which issues are in fact matters of concern and by eliminating or rejecting all those things which are diversionary and irrelevant.

The partisanship of the mass Party press is to the working class and the leading role of the working class over the entire society. It is dedicated to providing the class with the consciousness and organization commensurate with its revolutionary position in society. The movement for enlightenment reflected in the pages of the mass non-Party press, can really thrive only with the working class taking its place and providing all those who are concerned and discontented with the existing situation with the advanced fighting positions, that is by setting the agenda for the working class and its allies to create a modern society based on a modern system.

TML Weekly takes this opportunity to congratulate all those who have contributed to the strengthening and consolidation of the mass Party press and the mass non-Party press. We call on you to continue to provide it with support and expand it at this time when it is crucial that the working class movement further develop its independent politics and use its voice and organizing power to mobilize the broad masses of the people calling for democratic renewal.

Haut de page

Permanent Resident Status for All!

National Day of Action in Defence of
the Rights of All

On August 23, working people across the country took a bold stand in defence of the rights of all in pickets and other actions demanding Status for All! Actions organized by the Migrant Rights Network took place in cities and towns from coast to coast: on the Halifax Peninsula, in Sherbrooke, Montreal, Ottawa, Sudbury, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Windsor, Regina and Vancouver. The Migrant Rights Network is an umbrella group of nearly fifty migrant rights organizations.

The main focus of the Cross Canada Day of Action was to demand once again that Canada uphold the rights of all migrants to Canada and grant status immediately to the 1.6 million people living here without permanent resident status. Permanent resident status must be recognized so that all migrants have the basis for a dignified and secure life.

The call out for the actions said, "For too long, those of us without permanent resident status have been unable to get universal services, or speak back against bad bosses and power structures. COVID-19 has exacerbated our crisis. We have lost lives and livelihoods. We have been excluded from receiving the support we need. We need a single-tier society where everyone in the country has the same rights and opportunities, and that means full and permanent immigration status for all. No more racism, no more deaths, no more exploitation, STATUS NOW!"

In the Halifax area the action took place over two days in eight locations on the Halifax Peninsula, with the message of postering and flyering at farmers' markets on August 22 that "Migrant workers are part of our community!" Among the actions on August 23 was one outside the Northwood seniors' residence where so many workers and residents were infected with COVID-19 and 53 residents died.

In Montreal, festive marches were organized in several neighbourhoods -- Montréal-Nord, Parc Ex, Côte-des-Neiges and downtown -- to mobilize the communities around the demand "Status for All!"

In Ottawa an event was held in front of the Immigration and Refugee Board offices in answer to the call of the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change.

The Toronto action outside the Immigration and Refugee Board and Canada Border Services Agency offices included the installation of a human clock to emphasize "We are DONE WAITING! The Time for Status for All is NOW!" Among the speakers was Gabriel Flores, a migrant farmworker who was fired from his job because he stood up for his and fellow workers' health and safety after one of his workmates contracted COVID-19 and died. He pointed out that migrant workers are put in the untenable position of working in dangerous conditions under threat of deportation if they refuse. Other speakers included an international student, a careworker and a member of Migrante Canada.

Some thirty people participated in the Niagara Falls action at the Niagara Detention Centre which is used to detain asylum seekers and undocumented migrants. A speaker at the action pointed out that seasonal agricultural workers have long been organizing for their rights, with successful sit-down and slow-down strikes, speaking out against abuse and holding agri-businesses accountable.

In Windsor, where migrant farm workers in nearby Leamington and Kingsville have been hard-hit by COVID-19 due to the reprehensible living and working conditions they endure, and government refusal to protect them, 65 people rallied in front of the offices of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to call for permanent resident status for migrants. They were told that migrant farm workers were appreciative of all the support and love they have been receiving from other working people and their communities at this difficult time. Participants were informed that $50,000 had so far been raised from unions and some other community groups and individuals to acquire personal protective equipment to give to agri-food workers since many employers are not supplying them with it, and are not being required to do so either by the province. They were also told that volunteers continue to deliver boxes of food to migrant workers who are self-isolating in area hotels, to supplement the inadequate meals many were receiving from the Red Cross who the government had contracted to look after the food needs of quarantining workers.

The action organized by the University of Regina Students' Union at MP Michael Kram's office demanded permanent resident status for international students under the conditions of the pandemic. Many international students have not been able to find summer jobs and some cannot currently return to their country because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most are wondering how they will find the money to pay their tuition, which is around three times higher than that paid by Canadian citizens.

The Vancouver event was centred at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada office. To respect physical distancing requirements only a few people were at the information table while others came by to pick up posters which they put up around the city. One of the organizers, Nayeli Jimenez, explained to a representative of Workers' Forum that the aim was to mobilize the community behind the demand for full immigration status for all migrant workers in Canada. She pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation of temporary foreign workers, which was already bad, even worse as these workers lack the protection that those with permanent resident status have. Commenting on the deportation of two Mexican farm workers who broke the employer's rules by receiving food and clothing from community members in the Okanagan, she said this shows that all workers need full immigration status so that they can stand up to such violations of their rights, access the communities they are living in, and be able to change employers.

Across the country, migrant workers and their supporters pledged to step up their organizing to defend the rights of migrants and those without status and to achieve permanent resident status for all so that all migrants, who are part of the Canadian working class, can live with dignity.

Full Status for All Now!
We Are All Essential!
Defend the Rights of All!

Halifax, NS


Montreal, QC

Ottawa, ON

Toronto, ON

Niagara Falls



(Photos: TML, No One Is Illegal Halifax, Ensemble avec les personnes migrantes contre le racisme, C.T. Flook, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, K. Andres, N. Jimenez.)

Haut de page

Activists Call Out the Legault Government on  Restrictive "Special Program"

More than 200 people responded to the call Stand Up For Dignity at Peace Park, in front of the Quebec government's Ministry of Immigration, Francization and Integration offices in Montreal on August 22. They were there to tell the Legault government that its newly announced "special program" for asylum seekers is extremely restrictive and unacceptable, as it excludes thousands upon thousands of essential workers without status who risked their lives and those of their families.

The "special program" announced by both the federal and Quebec governments on August 14 includes only designated occupations, such as orderlies, nurses, nurses' aides and patient service associates, assistant orderlies and certain home support workers.

Élise Dubé of Extinction Rebellion said, "As a racialized person living in Quebec, I find myself once again in conflict with the appalling decisions of the Quebec government. What kind of example is this giving to us youth? What kind of values is this teaching us, whereby essential workers who made all kinds of sacrifice are being treated as disposable, are being abandoned and deprived of status? This mentality of exclusion is instilled in our society, in this racist and colonialist Quebec system. The message being conveyed is that those who worked during the pandemic at the risk of their own lives and those of their families, must now live in uncertainty as to their own future. We youth are not interested in building that kind of society."

Claire Launay of Quebec Is Us Too, an organization fighting for just and inclusive immigration in Quebec, pointed to the glaring contradiction where Premier Legault thanked all of Quebec's essential workers during the pandemic, "yet there's an attempt to thank as few workers as possible by way of a status in Canada." Adding that those who enabled Quebec to continue to function are left without proper access to health care themselves, she asked: "What image of Quebec is Mr. Legault attempting to present to the rest of Canada?" Addressing herself directly to the Premier and his Immigration Minister, she told them: "It is your responsibility to keep us safe, to respect and recognize our human rights. I am ashamed of my government!" Launay concluded that in the second wave of the coronavirus, "these workers will still be there, as they cannot afford not"

"Is it really imaginable that the society can function without grocery clerks, without people getting up every day at 5:00 am to go to work at Olymel, or without those who prepare meals for our seniors?" asked Olivier Lachance of Socialist Alternative. He pointed to the need to "build upon the power struggle so that status is obtained for all, along with improved working and living conditions."

Eve Torres, a social activist, stressed that the movement's demand of status for all is what all human beings require to live in dignity, equality and security. "Why is it that immigrants must risk their lives?" she asked and encouraged everyone to speak out in support of these vulnerable workers. She concluded, that Quebec belongs to "all those who are building it, who are contributing to it. We are all essential."

Guillaume Cliche-Rivard of the Quebec Immigration Lawyers Association (AQAADI) noted that this was not his organization's first fight with the Legault government. He then referred back to the Legault government's Quebec Experience Program reform, recalling that the government had been forced to revise it twice because of public outcry, and that although its final version was "far from perfect," it was a lot better than the original.

"The government is listening," he commented, "and if the pressure mounts from all sectors of the society, as we are seeing today, there can and will be results. So, don't stop fighting, don't stop the struggle, demand regularization, you deserve it and we will be there with you during the entire endeavour."

Wilner Cayo, President of Stand Up For Dignity, described the fight being waged as a "struggle for dignity, for real change and the granting of permanent residence for all essential workers."

He noted that Quebec's "guardian angels" have many faces. He said that they are not only orderlies, they are also maintenance workers, security guards, they're in the warehouses, they're drivers, they make deliveries. In short, he said, "they are all the workers who were there every day during the pandemic."

Addressing the Premier, he said that the heart of the Quebec people is not properly appreciated. He noted that Quebec "is a society with high ideals, with values of justice, respect, equity, values of human dignity." He said the Premier's "position in this file is one of the most fractious" and he has imposed "an improvised, mean, unjust" program, creating division among essential workers who were unified in the face of the coronavirus. "Your government is determined to cover up that precious contribution made by a good number of workers.... Your government has delivered a program devoid of humanity, poorly put together and disconnected from reality. Your evaluation of essential workers on a case-by-case basis defies all logic."

"Can our seniors survive through care alone?" he asked. "Why eliminate food sector workers? It was they who allowed us to eat, thereby proving their essential role."

"Mr. Legault and [Immigration Minister] Ms. Girault, how can you say that they were not at risk ..." he asked, "when dozens of employees contracted the virus at their workplace during their shift? Need we remind you that meat cutting and meat processing have nothing to do with tele-working."

He further noted that most of these essential workers without status "have been carrying on within conditions akin to modern slavery," which he said "is why many Quebeckers born here are not willing to accept to do what these people are consenting to do for their families. However, they are also doing it for their extended Quebec family."

Cayo pointed to the "ever-growing profound suffering and deception of these workers," in the face of government indifference. These workers, he said, continue to be treated as "second class citizens, despite their huge contribution." Society, he continued, "is being eroded through the exploitation of these people by agencies and their ill treatment at the workplace."

Addressing himself to the government, he added, "The disgraceful treatment of these workers and the fact that their congested neighbourhoods have been turned into precarious breeding grounds for the disease is your doing, as they were not even provided with masks."

"The attitude of our governments," Cayo stated, "which continue to delay the regularization of these workers, does not reflect our society's profound values. We must go into action until such time as things progress and there is a satisfactory program in place for the granting of permanent residence for all essential workers."

He concluded, "In order to negotiate, a relationship of power is needed. We must unite, as our strength lies in our number."  

(Photos: TML)

Haut de page

Migrant Workers Speak Out

On August 8, some 250 protesters participated in a rally outside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's constituency office in Montreal, demanding status for all migrants and that nobody be left behind. The action anticipated announcements by the federal and Quebec governments that provide the possibility of permanent status to only a small section of the essential workers who continue to work during the pandemic. The event's main organizer was Solidarity Across Borders.

The action began with representatives from Solidarity Across Borders explaining how those without permanent status are pushed into hard labour under dangerous and dismal working conditions, without health care, benefits, or emergency relief. In particular during the pandemic, while many Canadians were provided the opportunity to stay home and protect themselves, they were forced to face the dangers and thus allowed Canadian society to continue functioning at the risk of their own lives.

"All we want is to live in dignity and be safe," said one of these workers, noting that the undocumented continue to be excluded from all government programs, such as employment insurance, health care, emergency benefits, social assistance and a work permit, amongst other things.

"It's as if we don't exist," said another. "We have worked outdoors as security guards in -40 degree weather, made masks for everyone, cleaned private and public residences, worked at grocery stores, as care givers [...], in the fields, in meat-processing plants etc. both before and during the pandemic. We're continuously placed in harm's way to pay the rent and our expenses. We even pay taxes!"

Noting that people apply as refugees for good reason and asserting that no one should be left behind, one worker remarked: "Refugees, students, farm workers, care workers, we are all working and should not be criminalized." Commenting that many have been living in Quebec for over a decade, he added: "We're being neglected. We are part of this society. We left our families and our homes without anyone to take care of them, putting ourselves and them at risk. Now it's time to take care of us. This urgency has come because of the virus ... we are not objects that you throw away after using them. We are people, we deserve dignity and respect... We are all essential. All is all!"

A woman originally from Cameroon said: "My status is precarious. I'm an orderly. Recently I was assigned to health screening... I've done all kinds of painful, difficult and dangerous essential work over the past four years." She spoke of the pain that comes with work in cold-storage rooms or in fields for eight hours without the time to even stand up and stretch. She demanded that the discrimination being meted out against these workers and attempts to divide them be brought to an end. "All human beings have the right to equality, respect, dignity, to the same privileges in building a better world."

"We are the backbone of this country, of its economy," said another, commenting that that backbone must be "given an honest priority."

A machine operator employed in the agri-food industry remarked: "What we realize today is that the government is attempting to divide workers by saying that a certain category of workers, the one that provides care is more important than the one that feeds." Despite the fact that he and many others worked both before as well as during the pandemic, he commented: "When we arrive here, the government gives us a work permit that it is possible to renew year after year after year after year. However, they refuse to give us a status so that we can live calmly, peacefully, freely and in dignity; so that families can be reunited."

"Today we are experiencing a modern form of slavery," he continued. "It's as if you're one of the machines, you must work without letup. Everyone's stressed out!"

Wilner Cayo, President of Stand Up For Dignity, stated: "The next three weeks are going to be critical. The government is preparing to make an announcement on regularization. However, if we're not careful, that announcement may very well involve only a small number of people, leaving many other essential workers who have risked their lives behind." He went on to say that recently, he had met with migrant workers employed by Olymel, a Canadian meat-packing and food processing company. He informed that these workers are picked up by a yellow bus and driven to the company's plants and slaughterhouses in different towns. "They never stopped working during the pandemic," he remarked, "although others were provided with relief. These people must also be recognized and given permanent residency."

At first, he explained, his organization had only called for permanent residence for those working in CHSLDs (long-term care facilities) and seniors' residences. However, "as our relations developed amongst all our friends and the other organizations, we understood that without these people who work in the fields, in food processing, as security guards, those in the CHSLDs and seniors' residences would not be able to function. We are all essential."

"Make no mistake," he continued, "they will have no other choice than to listen to us. The more we exert pressure, the more they will have to listen to us. Together, it's possible!"

Frantz André, of the Action Committee on Non-Status Persons, also encouraged everyone to step up their struggle. "How many of us came here in search of a life, of hope? And you deserve it, you pay for it each and every day when you venture out and take risks. You and those who came before you have enriched Quebec's culture. We no longer have to prove anything," he stated.

André then invited everyone to participate in Stand Up for Dignity's encampment outside Prime Minister Trudeau's constituency office, which began August 9, to send the message to the Trudeau government that its present treatment of Canada's thousands upon thousands of migrant workers is criminal indeed.

(Photos: TML)

Haut de page

Federal Government's Permanent Residence Program for a "Category" of Asylum Seekers

Close to three months after having committed to looking into how to thank asylum seekers for providing care to seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has finally announced a special program for certain essential workers.

Its temporary measure "will provide a pathway to permanent residency for asylum claimants working in the health-care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Under that measure, "asylum claimants across the country who are working on the front lines providing direct care to patients in health-care institutions will be able to apply for permanent residency" provided they meet the criteria. The exception here is Quebec, as those wishing to settle there will require a Quebec Selection Certificate. The approach, claims the federal government, "recognizes those with precarious immigration status who are filling an urgent need and putting their own lives at risk to care for others in Canada."

As with all applicants for humanitarian and compassionate consideration, immediate family members (spouse and dependents) of the principal applicant are to be included in the application and granted permanent residence if the application is approved. Those who have been found ineligible to make an asylum claim, or who have withdrawn or abandoned their claims, would be excluded from applying.

To qualify, individuals must meet all of the following criteria:

- have claimed asylum before March 13, 2020;

- were issued a work permit after they made a claim for asylum;

- have worked in the health-care sector, in health institutions (for example, hospitals, long-term care homes, home care through an organization or agency, assisted living facilities);

- have worked in a designated occupation for no less than 120 hours between March 13, 2020 and August 14, 2020. The designated occupations that are included in this special measure are orderlies, nurses, nurses' aides and patient service associates, assistant orderlies and certain home support workers;

- demonstrate six months of experience in the designated occupation before being granted permanent residence. Applicants will have until August 31, 2021 to acquire this experience.

- have a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ), if wishing to reside in Quebec;

- meet existing admissibility requirements, including those related to criminality, security and health.

(Government of Canada)

Haut de page

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino's Remarks

At a press conference in Montreal on August 14 to announce his government's "special program" for yet another "particular category" of refugee claimants, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said amongst other things: "We are here today to recognize these asylum claimants who, without even the promise of status in Canada and without any certainty, mobilized themselves at a time when we were the most in need." He continued, "These people overcame huge adversity just to come here, often fleeing conflict, war and persecution. They were attracted to Canada, by a simple but lasting promise that they could live in peace, raise their families and build a better life."

He continued, "However, there's nothing easy about the journey of fulfilling that promise, even though Canada is recognized as a world leader in resettlement. Our own history has sadly been tainted by injustices that have been visited upon those seeking safe harbour in Canada. We must always reflect on these lessons of history and ask ourselves: can we do better?"

"Today offers us such an opportunity, for we are here to acknowledge an exceptional group of asylum seekers, many of whom live right here in Montreal.

"These are people who themselves are vulnerable because of their history, but who were ready to place their own health and safety at risk to save the lives of others.

"These are people who were there hour after hour, day after day, month after month to work in hospitals and in long-term care and retirement homes, where COVID-19 struck the hardest. And it is these people who have supported our health care workers and who chose to contribute by assisting seniors, the sick and those fighting for their lives since the beginning of the pandemic.

"They put themselves at risk and we are grateful for their service, for their sacrifice and for their instinct to put the needs of the community ahead of all else.

"I know we will remember their courage and compassion for years to come.

"As these individuals face an uncertain future in Canada, the current circumstances merit exceptional measures in recognition of their exceptional service during the pandemic.

"So today, we are introducing a one-time measure that will provide a specific pathway to permanent residence for asylum claimants working in Canada's health care sector in recognition of their exceptional contribution during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Those qualifying for an assessment within the framework of this temporary program are refugee claimants, including failed claimants, and those whose claims are pending and who are working in the health care sector and members of their families living in Canada. [...]

"Canada is, above all else, a nation where we all look out for one another, a place where people seek to recognize those who put others first, even if that invites personal risk, even if no one asked them to help out, even if they did so simply because they felt it was the right thing to do.

"The Prime Minister made a commitment to the country with regard to a means to recognize such dedication by asylum seekers who chose to act to uphold our collective effort nationally in support of all those fighting against COVID-19. Today we are respecting that commitment. This is about an exceptional measure, for exceptional times in recognition of exceptional service..."

(Source: CPAC)

Haut de page

About the Federal Government's "Historic and Significant" Announcement

At a press conference in Montreal on August 14 announcing the federal government's program providing a pathway to permanent residence for some essential workers during the pandemic, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino was asked why the government had not included security guards and maintenance workers.

Mendicino responded that the program's aim "is to place the focus on asylum seekers that had worked within a high risk environment" such as in hospitals and seniors' homes.

The Minister of Immigration was also asked if he could give an estimate as to the number of workers who would benefit from the program.

"As we are placing the focus on designated professions," he responded, "there is no precise number today."

Another journalist insisted that the Minister try to be more precise about whether the measure would be covering a hundred or a thousand people, to which Mendicino replied that for the moment he was unable to do so.

The Minister was also asked whether those whose refugee claims had already been heard and refused by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada would be able to have their files revisited.

"No, I don't think so," Mendicino replied, adding "This is only to be able to create a bit of flexibility for asylum claimants who had submitted a claim under a different process, but it's very specific, the criteria are there to create a framework for the program." This appears to contradict what he said earlier in the press conference that those qualifying for an assessment under the new program would include “failed claimants.”

He was also asked if the program could be expanded eventually to include other types of occupations in the health care sector outside of care.

"It's a special program for this group," he said, "However, we know that there are other groups who contributed to responding to COVID-19 such as foreign workers, in particular those in the agricultural sector where there are also risks and as the Prime Minister has said, this foreign worker program must be improved."

Might there, then, be another announcement with regard to temporary foreign workers in the agricultural sector, he was then asked.

"Listen," he responded "we've injected a lot of money and resources and support for foreign workers, to the tune of more than $100 million to introduce supports for foreign workers and we will continue discussing with that group, however today this is [about] a very particular program with a very particular focus on refugee claimants."

The same reporter then clarified that he was specifically referring to maintenance and other essential service workers.

"This is a special program for asylum claimants," Mendicino shot back.

"So then it will not be expanded?"

"No" he replied.

"We've  already spoken with people who were involved in this, helping asylum seekers and they say the criteria is extremely strict," commented another reporter. "For example, it doesn't include people who may have begun working in April, for example, in health care as well as those who may have actually gotten sick with COVID-19 because of the work that they do. Can you explain why the criteria is as strict as it is?"

Said Mendicino: "We really wanted to place an emphasis on the exceptional contributions of the asylum seekers who put themselves at the greatest risk by working in hospitals, in long-term care homes, and that was really the focus, the genesis of this program. We had a number of conversations with the Quebec government and other stakeholders as well, to really understand how it is that we could include as many as possible, but really the focus was on the risk, and with regards to the issue as to whether or not somebody may have become ill with COVID-19, we're continuing to work with the government of Quebec to be sure that any disruption in that time frame does not count against them as a discount as they apply for eligibility. So that's an ongoing detail that we are continuing to have discussions about."

The same journalist noted that the estimated number of people who will be affected by the program was around a thousand, commenting that "this is actually a very minor group, a very small announcement!"

"Well, I would say that this is an important announcement," the Minister retorted. "And for every person that is going to be accepted under it, it will be a life-changing moment, not only for them, but for their spouses and for their children. And we shouldn't dismiss that and we know that this is something [...] that will resonate with the community. Because there are those who did contribute, who did put themselves in harm's way, notwithstanding the fact that they are among the most vulnerable. As I mentioned in my remarks, the asylum seekers who came to Canada had to overcome great adversity just to get here and once here, looking around at their community, asked themselves 'How can I give back?' You know, they may not have had that piece of paper in their hand that said that they had permanent residence status or are a Canadian citizen, but they demonstrated a uniquely Canadian quality, which is that they were prepared to fight back, give back at a time when we needed them the most. And that's the point of this program. This is a significant and historic announcement and every person who is going to be accepted under it will, I think, remember this day for quite some time to come."

(Photo: C. Martin)

Haut de page

Quebec Announces Special Program for Asylum Seekers during the COVID-19 Period

On August 14, in tandem with the federal government's announcement of its "Pathway to Permanent Residency" temporary measure, the Quebec government announced its "Special Program for Asylum Seekers during the COVID-19 period." Quebec's Ministry of Immigration, Francization and Integration has confirmed "the upcoming adoption of a new immigration program" in Quebec that "will allow asylum seekers who provided direct care to patients and seniors since the start of the health crisis" to settle in Quebec permanently.

The Ministry states that the purpose of the program is "to thank asylum seekers who provided direct care during the pandemic to patients and seniors, by making it easier for them to obtain their permanent residency. Those awaiting a decision about their refugee status and who have been denied will be able to take advantage of this program, if they meet the selection conditions."

Family members "who are here in Canada with the asylum seeker can also be included in the application."

The date on which the program comes into effect "will be announced at a later date."

"The government must render its decision before the program can come into effect. All information about this future program, particularly selection conditions, are subject to change and will therefore be announced on a preliminary and informative basis, pending decisions required to enact the regulation that will bring the program into effect."

To be eligible for the program, applicants domiciled in Quebec must first meet the conditions of the federal program, meaning that "they applied for asylum before March 13 and obtained a work permit after their application for asylum."

To be selected by Quebec, they must also meet the following conditions:

- have worked in Quebec for at least 120 hours between March 13, 2020 and August 14, 2020, in one of the eligible occupations, in a public or private health facility or for a social economy or private homecare enterprise;

- have acquired at least six months' full-time work experience in Quebec or 750 hours (acquired full time or part time) in one of the eligible occupations, in a public or private health institution or for a social economy or private homecare enterprise, before or during the duration of the special immigration program.

All the above-mentioned selection conditions must be met no later than August 31, 2021.

Specific measures are also to be set out for certain exceptional cases, in particular for asylum seekers who contracted COVID-19 while working in health care. These measures would also apply to the families in Quebec of asylum seekers who worked in healthcare and died due to COVID-19.

The eligable occupations related to the delivery of health care are:

- nursing coordinators and supervisors (NOC 3011);

- registered nurses (NOC 3012);

- licensed practical nurses (NOC 3233);

- nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413);

- home support workers (NOC 4412: for occupations that involve providing direct care only).

Once permanent residency has been obtained, applicants can send for their family abroad under the family reunification program.

No ceiling will be established "since the objective of this program for permanent application is to show gratitude to asylum seekers for their important contribution working in the health sector during the pandemic."

No fees will be charged for submitting an application in Quebec, although fees will be charged by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

(Immigration, Francization and Integration Quebec)

Haut de

COVID-19 Update

Statement from the Chief Public
Health Officer of Canada

The following statement was released by Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, on August 27, 2020.

There have been 126,417 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,094 deaths. 89 per cent of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada tested an average of almost 48,000 people daily over the past week with 0.7 per cent testing positive. Currently, Canada is testing more than 140 people for every positive case. An average of just over 400 new cases have been reported daily during the most recent seven days.

As public health authorities and Canadians continue with our collective effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, we are closely monitoring disease activity indicators including daily case counts, number of cases hospitalized and the percentage of people testing positive in order to inform, adjust and adapt our actions as needed.

Although we continue to have new cases and clusters reported, with recent increased activity in provinces west of Ontario, nationally the average daily cases counts have remained at or below 500 cases since mid-June. This indicates that local public health authorities are continuing to keep COVID-19 spread under manageable control. Nevertheless, a slow increase in daily case counts can quickly get out of hand. If we don't all maintain recommended public health practices, we could quickly move out of the slow burn safe zone into uncontrolled epidemic growth.

Keeping the slow burn is not something public health can do alone. In addition to physical distancing, frequent handwashing and wearing of non-medical masks, where appropriate, we must all keep our number of contacts low. With COVID-19 circulating across Canada and worldwide, an exposure can occur at any time and in any place. Fewer contacts means that when an exposure does occur, the work of testing and isolating cases and tracing and quarantining contacts to interrupt transmission and keep the overall infection rate low does not become unmanageable for local public health authorities.

Everyone has a part to play; we are all firefighters in keeping COVID-19 at a slow burn. There are tried and true public health practices that will keep us on the slow burn, but they are only assured to work if we all remain vigilant and don't give in to "COVID fatigue." You can find additional information and guidance to increase your COVID-19 know-how on ways to reduce your risk of getting infected and spreading the virus to those you care about here.

(Public Health Agency of Canada, August 27, 2020)

Haut de page

75th Anniversary of Vietnam's August Revolution and National Day

Beautiful Celebration Held in Toronto

On August 20, the Canada Vietnam Friendship Society hosted a celebration to mark the 75th Anniversary of the August Revolution that overthrew the Japanese militarists and French colonialists and culminated with Vietnam's declaration of independence. Ho Chi Minh formally issued the Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945, which is now known as Vietnam's National Day.

The Toronto celebration, with limited participation due to COVID-19, was all the more significant because of the presence of His Excellency the Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to Canada, Pham Cao Phong.

The national anthems of Canada and Vietnam opened the proceedings. A solemn minute's silence was then observed to mark the recent passing of former Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Le Kha Phieu. Condolences for this loss of an outstanding Vietnamese hero and leader was extended to the Vietnamese people through His Excellency Ambassador Pham.

The keynote presentation for the celebration was given by Professor Nguyen Dai Trang, an internationally recognized author and expert on the life of Ho Chi Minh and the history of Vietnam. Professor Nguyen noted that on the 75th anniversary of the August Revolution and National Day the Vietnamese people look back with pride at their historic liberation of their country under the leadership of President Ho Chi Minh and the Communist Party of Vietnam; as well as the achievements of the last 75 years, realized by the Vietnamese people through their own efforts. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam today thrives as a modern country playing a positive role in the world.

Professor Nguyen also touched on her own work over the last 25 years to popularize the historical legacy of President Ho Chi Minh and his inspiration not only to the Vietnamese people but the peoples of the world. By relying on the lessons of the last 75 years she said, the future of Vietnam looks bright and prosperous.

His Excellency Ambassador Pham then addressed the meeting. He noted the historic importance of the August Revolution and the Declaration of Independence by President Ho Chi Minh 75 years ago, marking Vietnam as the first country in Asia to gain its freedom and independence from colonial rule. This in turn served to inspire the independence struggles of the peoples of Asia and other continents.

Ambassador Pham also cited the close links between the people and government of Vietnam in the successful control of the COVID-19 pandemic at the first stage and that the government took immediate measures with the recent outbreak in Danang. He expressed hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will soon be defeated through the cooperation of all countries and people. His Excellency noted as well that under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the country has successfully built its economy and trade relations with other countries. He expressed appreciation of the strengthening of bilateral ties between Canada and Vietnam over the last 50 years and predicted that this relationship will grow.

The celebration included a power point presentation of a virtual museum called "Ho Chi Minh Arts Online" created by members of the Canada Vietnam Friendship Society. The online museum was developed to promote writings, poems, historic photographs and artwork concerning the life of President Ho Chi Minh and his legacy to the entire world.

Following the formal presentation, the participants engaged in discussion, viewed the display of students' art and took the opportunity to get a signed copy of one of Professor Nguyen's recent books on Ho Chi Minh.

In his closing remarks, Philip Fernandez, the emcee and a founding member of the Canada Vietnam Friendship Society, invited everyone to join the Canada Vietnam Friendship Society and its work to promote fraternal ties and exchanges between the Vietnamese people and Canadian people for mutual benefit and for peace. He noted "Our links and ties run deep with the daughters and sons of the new Vietnam, integrated as one in the Canadian polity, enriching our society, our culture, our life and contributing to the human-centred society that we as Canadians want to see for our country."

(Photos: TML)

Haut de page

Online Celebration to Be Held September 2

Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the August Revolution
and Vietnam National Day

Wednesday, September 2 -- 6:00-7:30 pm
Organized by the Canada-Vietnam Friendship Society
For information and to register contact:
Keynote Address
Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in Canada, H.E. Pham Cao Phong

Two Documentary Videos
- Aspiration for Independence and Freedom: Ho Chi Minh's Life and Work Until 1927
- The August Revolution and Vietnam's  Independence


Inaugural Presentation of the Ho Chi Minh Virtual Arts Museum

Haut de page

Worldwide Support for the Palestinian People and Their Right to Be

Thousands Around the World Join the Days of Resistance for Palestine

The Days of Resistance for Palestine between August 7 and 9, brought together thousands of organizers and supporters of justice for Palestine around the world to stand with the Palestinian people, their resistance to colonization, annexation and occupation and their struggle for justice, return and liberation throughout Palestine, from the river to the sea.

Despite attacks from high-level Israeli officials that aimed to suppress these actions, noting that they had "warned Western governments" about the protests, over 100 organizations joined Samidoun's call for the Days of Resistance, with an array of diverse actions taking place around the world. These events included protests, car caravans, art and cultural interventions and public educational events, all in support of the Palestinian people and their right to resist.

Read on for a detailed report on the events and actions around the world.

Thursday, August 6– Confronting Elbit

London, England

The Days of Resistance kicked off with a powerful direct action on Thursday, August 6, organized by new British network Palestine Action at the office of Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems in London.

Activists covered the reception [area] and outside the Elbit offices on the 6th floor in paint, using stencils and spraying graffiti stating "Shut Elbit Down," "Tested on Palestine, used in Kashmir" and "We will be back." They declared, "Your profits are covered in Palestinian blood!" Elbit supplied 85 per cent of the Israeli military's drones used in the bombardment of Gaza in 2014 and markets them to the world based on their "success" in use against Palestinian civilians.

"We will not stop, and we will continue to escalate our actions until Elbit Systems' complicity in war crimes and apartheid here in the UK are shut down," Palestine Action organizers declared.

Friday, August 7 – Taking the Streets

Copenhagen, Denmark

On Friday, August 7, the Days of Resistance officially launched as Mohammed Khatib, Europe coordinator of the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, addressed a "people's kitchen" in Copenhagen at an event organized by the Stop Annekteringen af Palæstina 2020 (Stop Annexation of Palestine 2020) coalition, including the Internationalt Forum.

The event was attended mostly by youth activists in Copenhagen, and included a comprehensive discussion of the Palestinian struggle as well as the situation of Palestinian prisoners. A large banner highlighting the campaign to free Georges Ibrahim Abdallah and Ahmad Sa'adat framed the room.

Madrid, Spain

Also on Friday, August 7, activists with Alkarama: Palestinian Women's Movement, Unadikum International Brigades and Samidoun called for a protest that marched through the streets of Madrid in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their resistance.

Marchers carried a banner demanding freedom for political prisoners as well as highlighting Palestinian prisoners, including student prisoners like Mays Abu Ghosh and Ruba Fahmi.

"Our struggle against Zionism and colonialism continues, until the return of all Palestinian refugees to our homeland, the liberation of the land and the people and the construction of a democratic society in all of Palestine, a society of justice, freedom and equality," declared Jaldia Abubakra of Alkarama, presenting the statement of the demonstration.

New York City

In New York City, the NY4Palestine Coalition, led by Within Our Lifetime -- United for Palestine alongside member organizations Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition; American Muslims for Palestine -- NJ; Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and many community endorsers, organized a massive Day of Resistance protest, marching through the streets of Brooklyn from the heart of the Palestinian community in Bay Ridge.

The rally drew together hundreds in the Arab and Palestinian communities as well as an outpouring of internationalist solidarity from youth representing other neighbourhoods and struggles.

Las Vegas, Nevada

In Las Vegas, Nevadans for Palestinian Human Rights joined with Jewish Voice for Peace -- Las Vegas and Las Vegas Democratic Socialists of America to organize a rally and car caravan for the Days of Resistance, headed by a large mobile billboard truck carrying bright messages in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and the Days of Resistance.

Saturday, August 8 – Actions Around the World

Anaheim, California

The actions continued on Saturday, August 8 as the Palestinian Youth Movement came together with Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition for a rally and car caravan in Anaheim, California. Protesters highlighted Palestinian joint struggle with liberation movements around the world, especially the Black Liberation Movement, and emphasized the demand to defund and abolish the police.

Boston, Massachusetts

Also, on Saturday, August 8, the Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine protested in Porter Square, Cambridge, to raise awareness and attention against Israeli apartheid, focusing particularly on the recent arrest of Palestinian human rights defenders like Mahmoud Nawajaa of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee in Palestine.

Berkeley, California

In Berkeley, California, the Palestinian Youth Movement organized a banner drop at the I-80 Bike Bridge over the interstate, which included participants on foot, bikes and cars, carrying the message of a free Palestine from the river to the sea. Dozens of Palestinian youth and their supporters participated in this action that caught the eyes and the attention of thousands of motorists.

Dearborn, Michigan

The Days of Resistance march in Dearborn, jointly organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement and Detroit Will Breathe, brought members of the Arab, Black, Indigenous and Filipino struggles for justice together to march against Zionist land theft and the global fight against racism, colonialism and the military industrial complex.

As the Palestine Youth Movement noted, "From Dearborn and Detroit to Palestine, Lebanon and beyond, we stand firm against imperialism."

The powerful march reflected collective resistance to all forms of oppression and injustice.

Vancouver, BC

In Vancouver, Samidoun joined the Canada Palestine Association, BDS Vancouver Coast Salish Territories, Independent Jewish Voices UBC and more, including Queers Against Israeli Apartheid Vancouver for a protest march and action highlighting international struggles against imperialism and collective resistance against Zionism and imperialism.

Speakers emphasized the ongoing struggle for freedom in Kashmir, the movement of the people of the Philippines, Israeli complicity in repressing people's rights in Colombia, as well as the settler-colonial anti-Indigenous alliance between Canada and the Israeli state.

The protest also marched to London Drugs and the BC Liquor Store to highlight boycott campaigns, specifically targeting Teva Pharmaceuticals, HP technology products and Israeli settlement wines, sold in provincial stores despite being produced on the occupied lands of the Palestinian West Bank and Golan Heights.

Speakers emphasized that many of the same officials and companies responsible for the repression of Indigenous sovereignty on Turtle Island are also involved in profiting from the colonization of Palestine.

Toulouse, France

On Saturday, August 8, the Collectif Palestine Vaincra organized a stand for Palestine at metro  Jean-Jaurès in Toulouse as part of the Days of Resistance, distributing hundreds of flyers and leaflets highlighting the boycott of Israel and corporations profiting from the colonization of Palestine.

Participants also raised 270 EUR to support the Al-Naqab Center in Bourj al-Barajneh camp in Lebanon after the devastating explosion in Beirut on August 4. They carried signs and placards calling for the liberation of Palestinian political prisoners, especially Ahmad Sa'adat and Khalida Jarrar, and carried Palestinian and Lebanese flags.

Auckland, New Zealand

On August 8, activists from Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa -- Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau organized an action for the Days of Resistance to demand an end to New Zealand's complicity with Israeli war crimes, calling for New Zealand officials to put an end to military coordination with the Israeli occupation. They received many honks of support from passing cars before marching to New Zealand army headquarters to demand that New Zealand stop purchasing weapons from Israel.

Gothenburg, Sweden

In Gothenburg, Sweden, organizers with Samidoun Gothenburg joined with a number of Palestinian and solidarity organizations to hold a protest, "Palestine will never give up!" at Gustaf-Adolfs-Torg in central Gothenburg.

Protesters highlighted the case of Palestinian child prisoners as well as supporting Palestinian resistance, especially amid ongoing annexation threats by the Israeli colonial regime.

Malmo, Sweden

Protesters also took to the streets in Malmo, Sweden, gathering at Stortorget in a rally against annexation organized by the Palestinska Rättvisecentret i sverige. They gathered to demand justice for Palestine and stand together against ongoing Israeli colonization.

Copenhagen, Denmark

In Copenhagen, activists continued their actions for the Days of Resistance, as activists organized a "Free Palestine" banner drop in the city centre on August 8.

Manchester, England

In Manchester, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! organized a protest and stand highlighting solidarity with the Palestinian resistance, especially the Palestinian prisoners.

Activists gathered in Piccadilly Square to distribute information, highlight anti-imperialist struggle and build solidarity with the Palestinian people, including campaigns to boycott complicit British corporations like Marks and Spencer.

London, England

In London, Protest for Palestine and Victory to the Intifada organized a demonstration in Kensington as part of the Days of Resistance.

Protesters also expressed solidarity and support for fellow liberation struggles, with speakers from the West Papua movement showing solidarity with Palestine and building joint struggle at the protest.

Liverpool, England

In Liverpool, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! organized a stand and protest action in a busy area of the city, joining the Days of Resistance with a call for freedom for Palestine and all revolutionary political prisoners around the world.

Glasgow, Scotland

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! in Glasgow and the Revolutionary Communist Group took to the streets to join the Days of Resistance on August 8.

Participants cheered: "Long Live Palestine! Victory to the Intifada! Freedom for all Palestinian political prisoners! Zionism is racism!" They highlighted the cases of Palestinian prisoners, including Ahmad Sa'adat and Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.

The action also highlighted the struggle of Irish political prisoners and those being persecuted by British imperialism in Ireland, demanding justice for Liam Campbell, Ciaran Maguire and Zack Smyth.

Brighton, England

The Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign organized an action in Brighton's city centre on Saturday, August 8 for the Days of Resistance. Participants carried massive Palestinian flags and banners declaring: "No Annexation, No Occupation" and "Justice for Palestine." They highlighted the cases of Palestinian political prisoners and human rights defenders jailed by Israel, calling for freedom and justice for Palestine.

Several additional actions also took place on August 8, with XR Peace organizing a workshop on annexation and resistance in Palestine as part of a peace and solidarity fast remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Knighton, Wales, while activists in Long Beach, California, organized a solidarity stand at the roadside on August 8 and 9 calling for justice in Palestine.

Sunday, 9 August – The Resistance Continues

Bloomington, Indiana

On Sunday, August 9, the resistance continued as the Culture Work Collective and For the People Bloomington in Bloomington, Indiana, collected and distributed for postering around the city a number of posters and images created to support the Days of Resistance and the Palestinian people's struggle for liberation.

Montreal, Quebec

Many organizations and activists in Montreal, including the Fondation canado-palestinienne du Québec, Independent Jewish Voices, SPHR McGill, SPHR UdeM, Academics for Palestine and the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute, joined together in a mass demonstration on Sunday, August 9 to call for an end to the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement.

Hundreds joined the march, which included a massive Palestinian flag that stretched down the street alongside Metro Jarry.

Toronto, Ontario

In Toronto, the Palestinian Youth Movement organized a youth art-focused action on Sunday, August 9 as part of the Days of Resistance, first at Yonge and Dundas Square and then moving to the steps of Ryerson University. Participants distributed information about Palestinian political prisoners and the threatened annexation of Palestine, spoke out about the ongoing attacks on Palestine and the Palestinian people's continued resistance and created signs and banners.

Participants also shared Palestinian culture, including plants, food, embroidery, music and dance, and linked the Palestinian struggle with liberation movements globally, including the Indigenous struggle for sovereignty and self-determination and the Black Liberation Movement.

Toulouse, France

The Days of Resistance continued in Toulouse as the Collectif Palestine Vaincra created a mural to salute the Palestinian resistance on Sunday, 9 August. With the word "resistance"/muqawama in Arabic at the centre, the mural also highlighted various Palestinian figures of resistance: Ghassan Kanafani, Samira Azzam and Basil al-Araj alongside a map of Palestine from the river to the sea.

Participants carried Palestinian flags and banners for Samidoun and the Collectif Palestine Vaincra as they created the mural collectively.

Copenhagen, Denmark


Further actions for the Days of Resistance continued in Copenhagen, where the Internationalt Forum -- Middle East Group hosted Mohammed Khatib, Europe coordinator of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, for an event remembering the legacy of Ghassan Kanafani's revolutionary cultural work and commitment to Palestinian resistance.

The event was attended by Anni Kanafani, Ghassan Kanafani's widow and the founder of the Ghassan Kanafani Cultural Foundation, which runs kindergartens and children's programs throughout the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, as well as Fayez Kanafani, Ghassan Kanafani's son. Anni Kanafani introduced Mohammed Khatib, noting that Mohammed, as a child, had attended summer programs organized by the Foundation in Ain el-Helweh refugee camp.

The event was moderated by Irene Clausen of the Internationalt Forum, longtime Palestine organizer and author of the book, The PFLP and Palestine (published in Danish.)

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In Amsterdam, Samidoun Nederland organized an action for the Days of Resistance on Museumplein, which included a discussion of the revolutionary cultural and political legacies of Ghassan Kanafani and Naji al-Ali. Participants carried signs in support of Palestinian political prisoners, including Ahmad Sa'adat and Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.

They also joined the large action for Indigenous Peoples' Day, alongside Makibas Foundation, Free West Papua Campaign, Building the Baileo and several Kurdish organizations to express anti-colonial and anti-imperialist solidarity.

Cleveland, Ohio

Midwest SJP and the Palestinian Youth Movement organized a Day of Rage in Cleveland on Sunday, August 9 for the international action days, marching from Public Square to defend Palestine against colonization and annexation.

Online Events Continue the Resistance

The Days of Resistance also included several online events and actions. Samidoun Network in occupied Palestine, along with Palestinian Youth Movement, Al Naqab Center and the HIRAK (Palestinian Youth Mobilization in Berlin) hosted an online webinar with Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat and Bir Zeit University professor Amira Silmi on Saturday, August 8, discussing the lives, struggles and revolutionary legacies of Naji al-Ali and Ghassan Kanafani (in Arabic). Watch the full video here.

This Video for the Days of Resistance was created by the Collectif Palestine Vaincra in Toulouse, France, a member organization of the Samidoun network, which also organized several events and actions. It highlights the over 100-year history of Palestinian resistance to colonialism, Zionism and imperialism.

In Brazil, the Frente em Defesa do Povo Palestino organized an online event remembering Ghassan Kanafani and expressing their commitment to continued struggle as part of the Days of Resistance on 8 August. Participants also expressed their solidarity with the people of Lebanon, especially workers and refugees, amid the explosion in Beirut and its aftermath. Watch the video (in Portuguese) here.

BDS Bahrain organized an online event for the Days of Resistance, "Boycott as a Duty," in which Prof. Abdel-Rasoul Ashour spoke about the importance of confronting normalization, especially in the Arab region. Watch the full video in Arabic here.

The We Rise Podcast created a podcast, with interventions, music and more, for the Days of Resistance, with the theme, "No to Annexation." The creators noted, "Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network has called for all organizations in support of Palestinian liberation to endorse the "Days of Resistance," in occupied Palestine and internationally, August 7-9, 2020. In response, Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) chapters and many organizations across the nation are participating in actions throughout this weekend." Listen to the podcast here.

BDS Boston also organized online cultural interventions as part of the Days of Resistance and Black August, highlighting Palestinian and Black writings of resistance. The BDS Boston campaign has featured works by Ghassan Kanafani, Kamal Nasir, George Jackson, Fadwa Tuqan and more, including a video of "Here we shall stay" by Tawfiq Zayyad here.

A new organization in Munster, Germany, Palästina Antikolonial Munster, launched during the Days of Resistance after organizing a protest on July 25 against annexation and colonization in Palestine. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes Palästina Antikolonial Munster and its clear anti-racist, anti-colonial vision and commitment to the liberation of Palestine.

Samidoun Stockholm also issued a statement for the Days of Resistance, emphasizing: "This weekend's mobilizations show that another world is possible. Samidoun Stockholm claims with the utmost clarity that we also have to intensify our conscious struggle against imperialism and its lackeys. We extend our warmest greetings of solidarity to the struggling peoples around the world and we extend our promise to strengthen practical international solidarity. We demand:

Freedom for all Palestinian prisoners! France and the USA out of Asia! An end to the Israeli occupation and a free, unified Palestine!"

As the Days of Resistance come to a close, the Palestinian resistance – and our actions of struggle – move forward, continue and grow stronger. We must continue to stand with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance in all of its forms, to defend Palestine from colonization, annexation, occupation and apartheid. Together, we organize to confront imperialism, Zionism and the reactionary regimes that continue to collaborate with these forces of oppression, and to struggle for liberation. Internationalist struggle that recognizes our firm connections of unified struggle against our common oppressors is central to our movement, including to the struggle to free revolutionary political prisoners.

We salute all of the endorsers, organizers, activists and communities involved in building these protests and actions, and we look forward to continuing to struggle, hand in hand, for Black liberation, Indigenous liberation, Palestinian liberation and the liberation of all peoples from imperialism and colonialism. Every victory of the peoples in struggle against these forces is a victory for Palestine and for our collective liberation.

To join Samidoun or find out more about how you can get involved with our work, organize a chapter, or volunteer to support our organizing: contact us via email at or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Samidoun's existing chapters are below. We invite you to join us to stand with the Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian resistance and the Palestinian people, with an internationalist vision of struggle, for the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Samidoun Gothenburg (Sweden)
Samidoun Stockholm (Sweden)
Collectif Palestine Vaincra (France)
Samidoun Netherlands
Samidoun Greece
Samidoun Occupied Palestine
HIRAK (Palestinian Youth Mobilization, Germany)

Below are several of the posters developed by people in Palestine and around the world as part of the Days of Resistance. Click images to enlarge.

(Photos: Samidoun, TML)

Haut de page

(To access articles individually click on the black headline.)



Website:   Email: